Local adoption agency is still seeking families for children in care despite lockdown

    Milton Keynes adoption agency St. Francis’ Children’s Society (SFCS) is urging people who are considering adoption to come forward.

    Children in care who have been approved for adoption already face a significant wait before joining their new families. Latest available data shows that the time taken between a child entering care and being placed with an adoptive family is 14 months, with 41% of children waiting 18 months or more, and SFCS is keen that the lockdown doesn’t extend that wait for vulnerable children.  

    Alison Miller, CEO of St. Francis’ Children’s Society, said: “Although the country is in lockdown, around 3,000 children are still in care, waiting to find their forever homes. In response to the current restrictions, we’ve made dramatic changes to the way we operate. Whilst we can’t meet prospective adopters face-to-face right now, video conferencing technology is allowing us to continue the important work of finding families for vulnerable children.   
    “The safety of children is always paramount, but adoption agencies and local authorities are adapting their working practices to ensure that children are not waiting in care any longer than necessary. If you’re considering adoption, you don’t need to wait until restrictions are fully lifted before you begin your journey – get in touch with us now and we’ll be delighted to talk things through with you.” 

    In normal circumstances, SFCS hosts two information events per month at its offices. However, they’ve now produced a film of this event which can be sent out to anyone who wants to find out more about adoption. 

    Initial visits and home visits are being conducted online using apps such as Zoom or WhatsApp, and the current easing of restrictions means that some face-to-face visits can be done in people’s gardens, where possible.  
    At the end of May, SFCS hosted their first online Preparation Training course and they will be hosting more prep training and other workshops in the coming months. Their monthly approval panel meeting has also moved online and is working well. And with the help of some funding from BBC Children in Need, SFCS are also providing a number of online support services to their existing adoptive families.    
    If you have questions about adoption or would like to take the first steps of your journey, contact SFCS on 01908 572700, enquiries@sfcs.org.uk or visit www.sfcs.org.uk.

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